To ask how people manage with state nursery ?

(183 Posts)
JingleUpTheHighway Wed 23-Jan-13 14:23:48

DD1 is due to start nursery in September with her free 15hrs grant. SIL currently watches her whilst DH and I work .

The nearest nursery to us only spreads the hours over 5 mornings or 5 afternoons . Each session is 3.5 hours long .

DH and I both work - how on earth to people manage drop off and pick up within 3.5 hrs ??

The nursery offers an "after school club" which also caters for nursery age children - but this would cost me £200 per month extra AFTER the grant has been take in to consideration .

SIL can't take and collect her as its too far from her and there are no nurseries within walking distance from her home (she doesn't drive).

Neither DH or I can change our work patterns again.

We simply can't afford that kind of commitment for a year until she starts school . How do people manage ?

We don't qualify for help towards childcare costs .

It looks like my dd won't be able to attend nursery . sad

JingleUpTheHighway Wed 23-Jan-13 15:09:10

Yes mobster I think we most definitely are !!

Flisspaps Wed 23-Jan-13 15:10:10

ReallyTired How are children who don't attend nursery at a disadvantage?

mrlazysfishwife Wed 23-Jan-13 15:13:14

OP I think you need to accept that you've been very lucky, having free childcare for 3yrs, and that if you want your DD to attend nursery, it's going to cost you.

As others have said, it's not compulsory, but if you think it's going to be beneficial for her, then try and think of it more positively in that the state are contributing to her having that experience.

I'd love my DS's to go to one of the state nursery's around here as they are nicer than the private one that they do go to, but it just doesn't work for us as working parents out of the house from 7.45-6 each day.

Childcare costs sucks, but for the rest of us who've had no choice but to pay them (unless we give up our jobs / careers which is another thread entirely grin) then the 15hrs free are only a good thing!

maddening Wed 23-Jan-13 15:17:44

Def ring round the private nurseries - as I said mine took 15 hours off over 1.5 days so if my ds had gone there for 2 full days it would have been £25 per week.

BooCanary Wed 23-Jan-13 15:18:01

So we're not allowed to moan about childcare costs, and ask if people have solutions or advice are we? In case we sound entitled. FFS, get a grip people.

FWIW, I have been paying hundreds of pounds per month since my DCs were babies. The majority of my salary has gone down the drain, and i have a million balls in the air at any one time. I accept that I can only afford to have 2 DCs, and that I have to pay thousands every year in childcare. It's my own choice, but it doesn't mean I'm banned from moaning about it.

The reality is the 15hrs school nursery is pretty pointless if you work full time, or even part time tbh. Its a huge logistical nightmare, which a large number of working parents can't manage to make work.

In answer to your question OP, I

OddBoots Wed 23-Jan-13 15:18:27

Are there any committee/charity run pre-schools in your area? I've found that school nurseries seem to have fixed am or pm x5 but many pre-schools allow you to use the hours more flexibly spread over fewer days.

BooCanary Wed 23-Jan-13 15:20:30

Ooops posted to soon blush

OP, I managed to get a flexible working agreement with my employer, which means I go in at the crack of dawn so I can take my DC to school at lunchtime. I would rather not bother, but feel guilted into it by the fact that the nursery is linked to the school he starts in next year so I want him to get used to it. The whole thing is a big frigging headache tbh.

sleepyhead Wed 23-Jan-13 15:23:57

I work 3 days per week and sent ds to private nursery for those days.

When he reached 3 we got the funded sessions (3 - they would only take off one funded session per day) taken from our nursery bill which was great. I might have found a state nursery to take him for sessions on the two days that I didn't work (unlikely but I don't know if impossible) but I chose not to.

I did consider a childminder so that we could use a state nursery, but as they can't fill the time when your child is at nursery with another child, they understandably wouldn't reduce the fee so I wouldn't have saved anything.

So basically, state nursery wasn't an option for me as a working parent. The wraparound option for 2 days sounds your best bet. £200 per month is quite cheap, even for 2 days. I take it you work full time? I'd just go with 2 days at nursery then and the rest of your time with SIL.

fromparistoberlin Wed 23-Jan-13 15:25:12

most people that use state nursery are SAHPs, for this very reason

my working friends send them to full time Nursery and got 15 hours free

and did you not, erm, plan for this before you had kids?

sorry but its a fairly basic thing, childcare !!!!

choceyes Wed 23-Jan-13 15:33:11

When he reached 3 we got the funded sessions (3 - they would only take off one funded session per day) taken from our nursery bill which was great. I might have found a state nursery to take him for sessions on the two days that I didn't work (unlikely but I don't know if impossible) but I chose not to.

That is strange. My DS goes to private nursery 3 days a week, 8 hour days, so 24 hours in total. They just take the 15hrs off the total hours and bill me for 9 hours a week. I'm sure your nursery CAN take the whole 15hrs if they want to and is legal allowed, but they CHOOSE not to!

maddening Wed 23-Jan-13 15:36:02

From - what's basic ? Trying to find something that fits with your work commitments, price range and the way you want your child cared for and the various options available is actually tricky.

And no amount of planning can ensure everything is in place by the time you have a baby - someone might pull out of childcare, governments change rules etc.

I had my friend and my sister offer childcare and both independently pull out 2 weeks before I started work - then I had a frantic search and massively increased costs.

If it has been easy for you fab but don't get sneery when others are finding it trickier for whatever reason - childcare is expensive and not everyone has working hours that fit in with the norm - some people have shifts that vary week to week. Others start work before most childcare opens greatly reducing choice and inflating cost.

Chumpster Wed 23-Jan-13 15:37:48

I agree with you that the hours on offer to you aren't a really that helpful to working parents, at least in terms of childcare. Our local preschool also only offers 3.5 hours in the morning or afternoon. But I think their main priority is early education, rather than offering childcare. I think the government rhetoric that those 15 hours really supports parents to return to work only works in terms of slightly reducing childcare costs, but not in terms of offering childcare. I think your options are:
Using a childminder before and/or after nursery
Using your 15 hours at a private nursery for longer periods over 2 days per week

But I understand that these may be too costly for you. Could you get a taxi for your SIL to take/pick up your daughter? It might seem a bit extreme, but if you're really keen for her to go to nursery it might be an option as long as SIL doesn't live too far away.

You've been really lucky to receive free childcare and £200 a month is quite reasonable but I expect you're beginning to understand that now given all the responses! Well done your SIL, she is very kind.

Chumpster Wed 23-Jan-13 15:39:24

whoops - forgot to say childcare vouchers!! Try and get these sorted for both of you! Could reduce your childcare costs by nearly £200 a month if you both received them.

Indith Wed 23-Jan-13 15:40:00

Yeah most people who work use private nurseries! Dd did 2 terms of state nursery and I hated it, I 'd get home, sit down and feed the baby and go out again so she now goes private where she can do 3 sessions of 5 hours each!

Sorry if you covered this, but is there not a nursery near to your SIL that she could attend?
When I was going to be going back to work and my mum having DS, the long term plan was for him to attend the nursery near her, rather than near our house. As it was, I didnt go back!

paneer Wed 23-Jan-13 15:42:50

OP - When your DD starts school, is your SIL still going to collect? What's your plan for then?

bamboostalks Wed 23-Jan-13 15:43:46

I thought that nurseries had to offer your hours over 2/3 full days if you wished? I thought there was some government directive to that effect.

rainrainandmorerain Wed 23-Jan-13 15:49:03

I know it has been said, but these 15 hours.... they are funded because they are pre-school education.

they are not primarily designed as childcare. They have been allocated and spread out over time with a view to the child's development rather than the parent's convenience.

There is a cross over, obviously! but I hear so many parents saying 'free childcare' - and it isn't.

One big reason this pre-school was introduced was because children were in some cases arriving at school at 5 totally unprepared - not knowing what a book was, having no idea about how to sit and listen, not prepared to deal in any way with a structured activity - it puts teachers and schools under an impossible strain. Those 15 hours a week are for some children the only time they are in a structured environment where the emphasis is on learning through play, and socialising in a way consistent with an introduction to education.

Provision varies from place to place, but this is pre-school education. Not childcare.

Chumpster Wed 23-Jan-13 15:55:22

The free places can be provided for 3 hours per day for 5 days per week, or 5 hours per day
for 3 days per week. From September 2012, childcare providers CAN offer the full 15 hours
over 2 days per week, but not all childcare providers will do so. (from Daycare trust website - it's very helpful!)
15 hours per week is if you use the childcare for 38 weeks per year. You can spread the hours over more weeks, but you'll have less hours per week.
If I was you I'd try and find a nursery which offered 15 hours over 2 days and then use SIL for the other days if she's still happy to look after her.

Chunderella Wed 23-Jan-13 15:58:22

£350 a month is actually not particularly cheap for 2 days a week childcare outside the south east, I can't imagine it would seem so even for a person who'd previously been paying full time costs. The two childminders I've been quoted recently (in the north) were £30 a day and £3.50 an hour, so £35 a day probably. That would come to considerably less, for two days a week. Some childcare here is more expensive, I have a friend who pays £50 a day, but that was her choice and it can be got much cheaper.

ReallyTired Wed 23-Jan-13 15:59:06

"ReallyTired How are children who don't attend nursery at a disadvantage? "

I agree with everything rainrainandmorerain has said.

Better social skills, they do activites that develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, speech, knowledge of the world, and learn the behaviour expected of them in a school enviroment. If attending nursery did not benefit children then the governant would not fund it.

A good day nursery is as good as a good school nursery. The advantage of school nursery is that children make friendships with children that they will go to school with. However since children in school nursery don't always get into reception then this is less of an issue.

I don't think I understood your post. What childcare are you using at the moment. Private day nurseries for working parents also give you those 15 hours. It is simply deducted from your fees. Everyone I know does that. Only ones I know that uses the type of preschools you described are SAHMs. (Or grandparent childcare).

Schooldidi Wed 23-Jan-13 16:01:05

We will use a childminder to drop off and pick up dd2 when she turns 3. It will not reduce my childcare bill at all because the cm isn't accredited and she can't take another child for just those hours because people don't want just a couple of hours with a childminder. We will send dd2 to pre-school to help her socialise, but I won't be banking on it reducing my childcare bill.

When dd1 was little my dad looked after her and he walked to and from preschool with her. He was happy to do that and I was very lucky that he could as I could absolutely not have afforded to pay for extra sessions/wrap around care because I was a student at the time.

Can your sil get her to a pre-school on the bus? I know that's not really an option in some areas but it might be doable. You would probably need to offer to pay her bus fares though.

LIZS Wed 23-Jan-13 16:05:27

Different areas implement the 15-hours EY funding differently. So while one will allow it over 2 days another might insist on 5 am/pm sessions. OP would your sil be able to take her by public transport and just wait or find something for herself to do there before bringing her back, once or twice a week, or you use a local CM for those days. How do you plan to manage when she starts school ?

KellyElly Wed 23-Jan-13 16:06:54

I use a childminder and unfortunately don't get any reduction in the price. I'm a working lone parent but do get tax credits which helps towards paying the CM. I am always poor though. Its a bit of a nightmare and for those of us who work 9-5 school won't be much better either.

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